What Is the Varicocele, Symptoms and How to Treat It

The varicocele is a dilation of the veins of the testicles that causes the accumulation of blood, leading to the emergence of symptoms such as pain, feeling of heaviness and the appearance of swelling at the site. Usually, it is more common in the left testicle, but can arise in any one of the sides, and may even affect both testicles at the same time, being known as varicocele bilateral.

Once the varicocele can cause infertility because the accumulation of blood can decrease the production and quality of sperm, it is important to consult a urologist to start the appropriate treatment and avoid the emergence of this type of complications.

The varicocele is curable through surgery, but not all cases are able to achieve fertility, especially if j there are damages in the structures of the testes.

The main symptoms

The symptoms more common of the varicocele may include:


  • Pain in the testicles, which can vary from discomfort to severe pain;
  • Pain that improves when you lie down on your belly up;
  • Swelling or presence of lump in the testicles;
  • Feeling of heaviness in the testicles;
  • Infertility;

There are also cases in which the varicocele does not present any symptom, and can therefore be diagnosed only on routine queries in the urologist.

How to confirm the diagnosis

The varicocele can be identified by the physician through an examination of palpation of the testicles, which must be done lying down and standing, since in some cases the varicocele may not be felt in certain positions, and if so, do the assessment in more than one position.

However, it may also be necessary to do an ultrasound to identify with greater detail the location affected and what is the position of the structures testicular.

How is it treated

The treatment for varicocele is usually only recommended when the man is showing symptoms. So, if there is pain or swelling exaggerated, the urologist may indicate the ingestion of remedies analgesics, such as Dipirona or Ibuprofen, and the use of suspenders testicular.

However, in cases of infertility, pain that does not improve, or problems in the functioning testicular, it may be necessary to do a surgery, call varicocelectomia, which allows you to eliminate the problem.


How is the surgery

This type of surgery is done with general anesthesia in the hospital and can be done in 3 different ways:

  1. Open surgery: this is the most classic of the surgery in which the doctor makes a cut in the groin area to observe the varicocele and give a “node” in the vein affected, allowing the blood to circulate only along the veins normal;
  2. Laparoscopy: it is similar to open surgery, but in this case, the doctor makes small cuts in the abdomen and inserts thin tubes through which makes the repair of the varicocele;
  3. Embolization percutaneous: this is a technique less common in which a doctor inserts a tube through a vein in the groin up to the site of the varicocele, and then releases a liquid that closes the vein dilated from varicocele.

According to the type of surgery used, recovery time can vary and the longer it takes to open surgery, laparoscopy, and finally by embolization.


In any type of surgery it is possible that there is a slight pain and therefore, you should use underwear comfortable and apply ice on the site during the first 24 hours, and return to normal activities after about 10 days or as directed by your doctor.

Possible complications

When the testicle has a varicocele is very common that, over time, will decrease in size and become softer, losing the function. Although not know the specific cause of why this happens, it is possible that this is related to the increase of the pressure in the local.

In addition, if the accumulation of blood in the varicocele cause an increase in temperature around the testicles it is also possible that the quality of sperm is affected, even in the testicle that is affected, may cause situations of infertility.

What Is the Varicocele, Symptoms and How to Treat It 1

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